Volume 19, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Quantitative laboratory tests were made on the cercariophagic activity of guppy fish, , by feeding them cercariae of labeled with radioselenium. Separate counts of radioactivity of the intestine of fish compared with the head and body proper were relatively high, indicating ingestion of cercariae. Heavily gravid females, which apparently find cercariae unattractive, served as controls. Otherwise, all classes studied—juveniles, adults, males, and females—ate many cercariae. When the same number of cercariae were placed in varying amounts of water, it was found that uptake of radioselenium is inversely related to volume. With a constant volume and increasing numbers of cercariae, increasing radioactivity was found in fed guppies. Guppies became radioactive much more quickly if they received feedings of untreated cercariae before being fed radioactive cercariae. Light enhanced cercariophagic activity. It appears possible that guppies may be useful in the biological control of schistosomiasis.


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